We see a deep garnet red in the glass, nice dark claret. The nose is complex with ripe cassis and raspberry aromas, as well as hints of spice and earth. The cool vintage allows the signature terroir of the Montelena Estate vineyard to show much more than in a warmer vintage. The palate is rich but soft with great varietal flavors like warm cassis and red berries and with a very polished and supple tannin structure.
In the end 2000 is a rich yet elegant vintage where Montelena’s traditional winemaking techniques and low vineyard yields combine to give a classically-styled wine: ripe yet accessible. Sneak this one into the area of your cellar where you keep your “first growths” because stylistically that’s where it fits best.
Wine Advocate 90 points - Notably ripe, plush and fleshy for the vintage, exhibiting ripe blackberry and plum flavors that are concentrated and well-focused, finishing with a nice burst of fruit flavors, with modest tannins. Drink now through 2010. 8,300 cases made. –JL
Wine Spectator 90 points - The dense purple-colored 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc) reveals a sweet perfume of black currants, an expansive, full-bodied palate, surprising elegance as well as accessibility, excellent purity, and a long, layered finish. It is a successful 2000 Cabernet to drink now and over the next 12-15 years.
Located just north of Calistoga in Napa Valley, California, Chateau Montelena is an iconic estate whose name is synonymous
with excellence. Founded in 1882 by Alfred L. Tubbs, this businessman steadily increased production until Prohibition, after
which the property fell into disrepair. In 1958, Yort and Jeanie Frank purchased the estate and slowly transformed it into the
beautiful property that it is today.
When the Barrett family bought the property in 1972, James Barrett focused his attention on restoring the vineyards, winery
and cellar. Chateau Montelena is a true family affair – James’s son Bo is Montelena’s master winemaker and for more than 30
years he has consistently created benchmark wines in the house style. Other key members of the winemaking team include
winemaker Cameron Parry, assistant winemaker Matt Cratfon and vineyard manager Dave Vella.
The now famous Paris tasting of 1976 placed Chateau Montelena at the forefront of the wine world and the family continues to
build upon its legacy of excellence and dedication to terroir-driven, authentic wines.
|Wine maker notes
|The 2000 vintage was long, with cool weather for the entire growing season keeping the vineyard moving at a slow pace. Even harvest was long and slow, with our longest crush ever in 30+ years at the old Chateau. We started harvest on August 29th and did not finish the last Cabernet blocks until October 28th. Two long months! A light Estate Cabernet crop was forecast and the crop came in even lighter. Meager vine growth in 1999 had not provided much good bud-wood for the 2000 season, so we started out with smaller vines, and we had some cluster loss from windy heat in June. The low yields became a blessing, since the smaller crop allowed our vineyard to ripen well in this cool vintage.
Of equal significance is the fact that our hillside volcanic soil blocks yielded close to average tonnage. These blocks are the first to ripen, ensuring that we didn’t have to rush to pick all the Cab right at the end of the season. The slightly elevated proportion of these blocks also shows nicely in the finished wine, as the volcanic soils yield grapes with more spicy and cedary notes than those from other soils on the Estate.
|Harvest Dates: Sept. 15 to Oct. 27
Bottling Date: August 2002
Release Date: March 2004
Cases Produced: 8,300
Appellation: Napa Valley
Time in Oak: 18 to 20 months
Sugar at Harvest: 22.5° to 25.9° brix